BEAUTIFUL! Let me tell you people, the streets were rockin’ last night. YouTube footage to come later, on my roommates camera.
JRoll got them rollin’ with a lead off jack and Cole Hamels pitched his third gem of the playoffs and the Phils beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 to win the NL championship series 4 games to 1 for its first pennant since the coveted ’93 team. Manny Ramirez was the lone bright spot for the Dodgers as he provided the only run on a solo shot off Cole in the 6th frame. Rafael Furcal was pathetic as he was responsible for all three of LA’s errors which proved costly.
Bring on the Rays!
8:22 PM ET from Dodger Stadium at Chavez Ravine
Outcome: Tonights the night. Cole vs Chad. Easy mark in my mind. Billingsley will get crushed in the biggest game of his life, whereas his counterpart, Cole Hamels will shine bright in the spotlight. I see Cole going 7, possibly 8 strong innings and controlling the game. He has something to prove, and its the fact he is the best young lefty in the game today.
Ryan Howard finally gets his bat going and at the most opportune time, heading into the World Series. Phils jump on Billingsley early and cruise to a 7-2 win. GO PHIGHTINS.
Final: PHI 7 LA 2
Player of the Game: Ryan Howard – 2 for 4, 1 HR, 2 RBIs
Outcome: Tonight our Phightin’s look to clinch their first NL Pennant since the memorable ’93 team. It couldn’t look more promising then tonight, with the Dodgers reeling after Monday’s loss plus Phillie ace Cole Hamels scheduled to start. I truly think the Phillies see the prize and will take care of business tonight, clinching a World Series berth.
Look for the Phillies bats to be fully awakened after Monday night and jump all over starter Chad Billingsley, just as in Game 2. King Cole will be on point for 7 solid innings, giving up a Manny blast and really no further damage. The offense will give Hamels plenty of breathing room, and the Phils will cruise to a Game 5 win and the promised land to boot.
Final: PHI 8 LA 1
Player of the Game: Cole Hamels – 7.1 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 11 Ks
A classic game last night moves the Phillies within one win of the World Series. After an amazing night, a game that saw lead changes, countless opportunities for both teams to blow the game open in the early innings, some more long balls, and ho hum another Brad Lidge save, the Phillies pulled out a 7-5 win in Los Angeles to take a 3-1 series lead. Cole Hamels is scheduled to take the mound in Game 5 on Wednesday.
After jumping out to an quick 2-0 lead following Chase Utley and Ryan Howard RBIs, the Dodgers took a 5-3 lead in the 5th inning as Manny Ramirez continued to make it look easy. But then the Phils bats stole the show. In seemingly an instant, playoff MVP Shane Victorino, booed continually from the moment he took batting practice, lined a laser into the Phillies bullpen tying the game at 5, giving the Phillies new life, all while setting the Phillies record for RBIs in a league Championship Series.
After a Carlos Ruiz hit (a two out single), 40 year-old Matt Stairs hit a straight bomb to right field. The Phillies dugout exploded with the 7-5 lead. Brad Lidge came out of the bullpen with 2 outs in the 8th and recorded the final 4 outs, 46 of 46 for the season and playoffs, and the Phillies are one more win away from the Series.
4:35 PM ET from Citizens Bank Park
Outcome: Manny Ramirez is still on fire but so is Brett Myers of late. With Manny only sporting a career .158 (3 for 19) average against Myers, I think Brett can keep him in check. Hopefully the right hand heavy lineup of the Dodgers has a tough time with Brett today and he can work some solid innings. I see Jimmy and Chase getting their bats going again after an awesome game last night. I think that’s exactly what Chase needed to break out of his mini slump there. Look for Chase, Shane Vic and Jimmy to have a great day and be extremely active on the base paths. I also foresee some Jayson Werth surprise action.
Final: LA 3 PHI 6
Player of the Game: Jayson Werth – 2 for 3, HR, 2 Rs, 2 RBI, BB
Outcome: Well if the Phillies were not fired up enough for this afternoon’s NLCS game 2, word that manager Charlie Manuel’s mother has passed away, has to put their motivation over the top. The Phillies can not let down skipper Manuel’s mother’s honor and be defeated this afternoon and I predict that the Phightin’s will come out bats a blazing. Look for the the Phils to jump on Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley early and often as today’s game will feature much more offense then yesterday.
Final: LA 4 PHI 7
Player of the Game: Ryan Howard – 2 for 3, HR, 3RBI, 1R
8:22 PM ET from Citizens Bank Park
Outcome: Manny Ramirez is on fire. Rafael Furcal is back. Joe Torre is in the playoffs again. And Cole Hamels is LIGHTS OUT BAY BAY! Cole will continue his dominant pitching in Game 1 and take a shutout into the seventh where I think he might get a little tired and let up a few hits, possibly a run before Charlie Manuel gives him the pull. This will be perfectly fine, because we will have a solid lead at this point behind the timely hitting of our fearless leader Jimmy Rollins and the rest of the order. A raucous Philly crowd who haven’t been this close to a championship since the Eagles choked in the NFC Championship will be the spark for the Phils as their bats finally get back on track in this one.
Final: LA 2 PHI 5
Player of the Game: Cole Hamels – 7.1 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 8 Ks, 1 BB
Outcome: Both of these teams come in feeling good about themselves. Game 1 is going to come down to who works out their nerves first. Reigning MVP Jimmy Rollins does not get phased by the big stage; expect him to lead the Phillies to a 1-0 lead with back to back games with a lead off HR putting the Citizen’s Bank crowd into a frenzy. Expect the Phillies left handed power bats of Ryan Howard when he gets his chances, but more-so Chase Utley to do a lot of damage in this series as the Dodgers have no left handed arms to combat the sluggers. Cole put on an ace-like performance we’ve started to become accustomed too, going deep into tonight’s game keeping the Dodgers hitters looking silly with his deadly fastball and curveball combo as Citizen’s Bank Park will be never be louder tonight from start to finish.
Final: LA 1 PHI 6
Player of the Game: Jimmy Rollins – 3 for 4, HR, 3 RS, 2 RBI, Double, Single, 2 SBs